Sticky traps are boards, cards, or rolls coated with a non-toxic adhesive that traps insects, allowing you to monitor population levels and remove pests before they damage crops. They provide an affordable, environmentally friendly control option. Sticky traps for insect pests are useful for monitoring an area for crawling insects 24/7, and as such are frequently used by professionals to enhance their ability to detect pests during pest control inspections. Sticky traps allow an inspector to detect pests that are active at night or other times when people are not present. Sticky traps are pieces of colored plastic or cardboard, typically yellow (or sometimes blue) in color, coated with a thin layer of glue. Once you peel back a protective layer to expose the sticky surface you can then place them vertically in a paddock, veggie patch, or on fruit trees with a twist tie or attached to a stake or fence post.
Sticky traps for insect pests are an efficient tool for monitoring adults of many pests, including leaf miners, thrips, and white flies. This publication is a practical guide to using traps properly, recording and interpreting catches, and developing control action thresholds. Although this information is intended primarily for commercial greenhouse growers, pest managers of outdoor nurseries, field crops, and orchards will also find it to be useful. The main purpose of these traps, which you can find at most plant nurseries, is to monitor for flying adult insects. As they are non-selective, a range of insects such as aphids, trips, fruit flies, leafminers, and whiteflies are caught.
Pests in the garden can be a real problem. They eat and infest your plants and bother you and your guests as you try to enjoy the outdoors. There are many solutions to dealing with unwanted insects, and each has benefits and drawbacks. Sticky traps for bugs are one strategy.
Sticky trap pest control means using a glue-based trap to catch and immobilize pests. These types of traps are typically cardboard with a layer of sticky glue. The card may also be folded into a tent shape or laid flat. The tent cover protects the sticky surface from dust and other materials. Some sticky traps also include some type of scent to entice certain pests. A sticky trap may also be a hanging trap. The type that sits on surfaces really only works for crawling bugs, like spiders or cockroaches. Flying insects can’t be trapped that way. A hanging strip of sticky paper can be used to catch and trap flies, for instance.
Traps are available in different styles:
- – Rolls – Unfurl length needed and cut segments to size
- – Flat cards – Pre-cut rigid sheets in various sizes
- – Wings – Flaps coated on both sides extend shelf life
- – High capacity – Extra thick glue to hold more insects
- – Species-specific – Colors and lures tailored to certain pests
Benefits of using sticky traps
- Sticky traps provide an excellent way to continuously monitor your home for any problematic pests.
- These traps work continuously and are able to trap insects that are most active in the night, while you are likely to be sleeping.
- They also help reveal infestations for which you will need to enlist professional help.
- They are easy to deploy, collect, and check.
- Because of their different and attractive colors, Sticky traps for insect pests have the ability to attract different insects.
- They can last for several seasons.
- They are inexpensive.
When to use Sticky traps for insect pests
Use of sticky traps is normally done when trying to reduce populations of aphids, whiteflies, and thrips in the greenhouse or your home. These traps can monitor insect populations to determine if another pest control strategy is working or to figure out where your biggest pest problems are.
In terms of managing outdoor garden pests, using sticky traps poses issues to wildlife, so other pest control strategies should be used instead. Making the garden more attractive to beneficial insects, for instance, can help keep the numbers of pesky insects down, as many actually feed on them. Ladybugs, for example, love snacking on aphids.
Installation and replacement of traps
The number of traps needed depends on many factors, including the main target pest. Unless other guidelines are recommended, use a minimum of one sticky trap for every 10,000 square feet of growing area. Whitefly infestations typically start in scattered areas and may require one trap per 1,000 square feet to get a reasonably accurate picture of insect activity.
Place Sticky traps for insect pests within the cropping area, especially in sensitive cultivars, as well as by vents and doors. Number each trap and map its location.
Traps should be positioned just above the crop canopy and raised as the plants grow. Orienting traps horizontally is sometimes recommended when monitoring pests such as fungus gnats emerging from the substrate. In most programs, orienting the longest part of the trap vertically will catch the most insects.
Inspect sticky traps at least once or twice weekly and replace them after inspection unless the traps are reused. Reusing traps does save on the cost but counting insects on reused traps is more labor-intensive.
Traps should not be left up for long periods because they will become caked with insects, making it difficult to make accurate and quick counts. Generally, traps can be counted more efficiently in the greenhouse. The traps can also be wrapped in clear plastic and taken to a more comfortable location for counting, which could facilitate more accurate identification. This may be necessary if a microscope is needed to identify insects.
- Use traps preventatively before pests are seen
- Position near known insect entry points like vents
- Focus on hotspots indicated by previous monitoring
- Use higher-density trapping for heavy infestations
- Replace traps every 4-6 weeks as adhesive wears off
To enhance your IPM approach:
- – Install traps as one tactic along with cultural, and biological controls
- – Identify pests accurately to select other targeted controls
- – Focus trapping density in problem areas, not the entire field
- – Remove captured insects from traps regularly
- – Keep detailed records to optimize future placement
Sticky traps are a simple yet powerful tool for reducing crop damage from invasive insect pests. Order yours from the crop protection experts at Farmsquare today!
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